For some Sunday morning bliss, this French cafe comes to the rescue. Thank you Le Pain Quotidien. There are a few French cafe/patisseries located in and around Sydney by this name, but if you find yourself somewhere near the designer level at Westfield Sydney, with a bit of luck you will find a suitable table to enjoy some time out to unwind in your own Parisian coma. This is true.
The beautiful communal table with views towards Hyde Park
You would be forgiven for thinking that you have stepped into a busy bakery due to the noise level at times, yet if you head towards the back of this cafe, you might be lucky to find some great views of the city. These great views include views of Sydney's Hyde Park.
The simple things in life are often the best. Amen to that.
The communal table at the back is just lovely and appropriate. Some classic, quality condiments are there for the taking, plus there is ample water available, which you can pour at your own convenience. You're in your own world here.
Jean Jacques is a pleasant, mature French man who came to take my order. He pre-warned me after ordering the Watermelon Cooler ($3.95) that they might not have any left. This cool sensation with watermelon and home made lemonade is one original drink; something cool, refreshing and selling like it is going out of fashion. Pity, Jean Jacques was right. Instead I opted for the Iced Coffee ($5.95) and what an unexpected surprise. Watch out, if you have not had a caffeine hit in a while, the strong coffee taste will give you that extra zing that you would not come to expect from drinking such quality brew. The coffee flavour was strong, to the point I was literally buzzing off the walls; it sure could easily put anyone's flatness or low energy levels to bed for a while. The ice cream scoop within this drink tasted like a quality vanilla bean flavour. Thank goodness for ample supplies of water conveniently available at my table.
The brioche ($4.50) turned out to make the iced coffee a ying and yang experience, and one to remember and come back for. Although rather plain looking and momentarily feeling like you've been short changed, once you take a bite of this beautiful pastry, all regrets disappear. This is a rather filling treat, and again perfectly compliments the iced coffee. In addition to being able to read the Sunday newspaper, if you're lucky enough to take a seat near the back, there are some organic jams and hazelnut spreads to enjoy.
Enjoyed some of the organic rhubarb jam on my brioche
The rhubarb organic jam blended in nicely with the brioche, and so did the organic strawberry. The hazelnut spread? Sorry guys, I would say questionable. Stick to Nutella instead. The jams were flavoursome, and although unique the rhubarb organic jam was a stand out.
My experience endured a feeling of trance, to the point that I left two hours later. I needed to move to another table about 20 minutes before I left as a group was coming in, and I could see that Jean Jacques was frantically setting the table and popping the reserved sign on to meet such demands. Never mind, I nestled myself into a corner spot. Come time to leave, I felt content.
Pleasant service without that chain store feeling. A great place to catch up with friends; chill out alone, do a bit of work and make that all important phone call to a loved one. A laid back, simple space that just sweeps you in. Next time I look forward to giving the watermelon cooler a second chance. Oh, and if you come here on a weekend or on a public holiday, a $1 surcharge applies. Peanuts really, considering that the service was simple top notch. Merci.
A great decision to have morning tea here not too long ago
Thanks for the article, I have occasionally visited here to city watch from its windows. Just a heads up Le Pain Quotidien is an international chain of cafes that originated from Belgium. My understanding is Belgians hate being confused with the French, much like Kiwis dislike being confused as Australian, or Candians as the US.